A recent article in ClickZ covered an emerging trend in the SEM industry – Search Engine Reputation Monitoring. The practice involves monitoring search engines, blogs, new sites & other online information sources for mentions of your company, trademarks, key personnel, etc. Here at Amplify-Interactive, we take the practice one-step further and actually help clients manage their online reputation – we call it “online reputation management“. I’ll get to that in a minute.
Now, in the article – the author offered up several techniques for monitoring a company’s search engine reputation. We employ these techniques as well, and they include things like:
- Create Google alerts for things like your company name, url, stock ticker, products, etc
- Use Technorati to monitor blogs for links to your company’s domain
- Monitor your company’s wikipedia entry (if you have one)
While the author didn’t go into reasons for doing so – it’s pretty obvious. Take the case of brands like Starbucks or Comcast – if you do a search in Google for either, you’ll notice that there are several defamatory results for each. My favorite example is when you search Google for “comcast“, and this YouTube video shows up in the results:
You can see how knowing about these things can be useful, but what do you do about it? Well, you can’t get someone to take down their “starbucks sucks” web site if they don’t want to. And, as a part of our online reputation management services, there are techniques that we can use to try and ‘push’ the unsavory results out of the top 10. But what are some more pro-active steps that brands can take? As the Web evolves, we’re finding that brand marketers can no longer control their message as much as they like. Users of your product now have a global platform that they can use to make their opinions heard. I offer up this simple advice. Listen and learn. Take the feedback to heart. Be honest with yourself. While people will vent their problems – there’s a difference between one poor customer experience and several of them. If there are common themes in complaints about your brand – it is most likely that these are real problems. Address them and let people know that you’re addressing them.